Offered roaster position. I think it's underpaid. Weigh in?

uRabbit

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Feb 24, 2013
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Hi folks. I live in Seattle. I was just offered a roasting position, as I have previous experience, and our current Head Roaster is departing. My experience involved my old operation, however, so I'm unaware the expected wages.

In Seattle, more and more shops are moving toward $15/hr + 10% gratuity. I have been offered a Lead Barista position with a new-to-town roaster as well. They're not open in Seattle yet, but they are fairly large, and make great coffee. The Lead Barista position would go up to $16.50 + tips after three months. We're talking at least $20/hr.

As a Lead Barista at my current shop, I'm making $12.25 + tips. Tips are very low, as our shop does less than $1,100 most days.

I expect a Head Roaster position to be much higher than a Lead Barista position, and closer to, but not equal to, what a Manager would make.

What do you folks say?
 
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uRabbit

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I'm not sure how I forgot to mention that...

Responsibilities would include roasting, sourcing, leading team cuppings, training apprentices (company is a non-profit that trains at-risk people in six month apprenticeships).
 

topher

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I thought minimum wage went up to $15 an hour in Seattle. I am not sure what your exact experience is or what kind of volume they are doing..so it's hard to say what a fair salary would be. Another factor would be who does the "head roaster" report to. I do know that Seattle is super expensive...
 
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uRabbit

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I thought minimum wage went up to $15 an hour in Seattle. I am not sure what your exact experience is or what kind of volume they are doing..so it's hard to say what a fair salary would be. Another factor would be who does the "head roaster" report to. I do know that Seattle is super expensive...

It definitely is expensive!

$15/hr is for larger companies. Current minimum for smaller ones is $11.00.

We don't do a lot of volume - ~300 lbs per week. I have experience with a home for-profit operation that did really well.
 
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topher

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Minimum wage is the same across the board...I mean state law wise...what is the minimum wage? Could have sworn it was up to $15. I sent you a Pm.
 

topher

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I agree John. The problem is they are not busy enough to warrant a full time roaster. Then again that is part of the cost of growing a business. If they want to find a quality person that will stay around they are going to have to pony up...there is a reason the current roaster is leaving...not sure what it is but I wouldn't work a part time roasting position.
 
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uRabbit

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Man, I really dropped the ball on this post. I failed to provide so much information.

This would only be less-than-part-time. Two days. At first. We are undergoing some restructuring (for the better), and this is a great opportunity for them to re-evaluate the roaster position. Communication was a huge issue before. Also, some of the Managers will be taking on some of the responsibilities. I will be roasting, sourcing, cupping, packaging, and delivering. Roasting all of our orders for the week takes only half a morning.

I have been told that this will move into a full-time role, but that they can't facilitate it at this time. Which makes sense.
 
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uRabbit

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Pounds. :-?

I'm foreseeing a lot of unpaid work. I don't know that they realize how much self-guided learning there is. Never-ending, too. Also, I am capable of putting out our coffees exactly how they are now. I feel that should speak about my skill and fair compensation. I will be revamping them, though, as everyone agrees they need a lot of work. The previous roaster was closed-off to input.

They have said it won't be salary like it was before. They know I'm easier to work with, and better at roasting. So why not do a salary, but also take into account that it should not be a full time role. That's fine - I'm going to be filling the role of Roaster and Lead Barista.

I think a fair compensation would be slightly less than median for roaster, and slightly more than Lead Barista, to compensate for having to make calls, check emails, etc.
 

racer7

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Apr 7, 2017
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The key words were "non profit". Wags/salaries there rarely match for profit businesses.
 
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